Apple is planning a very gradual return to work plan for its employees around the world, according to a new report from Bloomberg. The first phase will allow “staff members who can’t work remotely or are facing challenges working from home” to return to Apple offices.
According to the report, the first phase has “already begun in some regions globally” and is slated to expand to other offices in late May and early June. A second phase will begin in July, designed to “return even more employees to Apple’s offices globally.”
The report explains senior Apple managers are beginning to inform employees of these plans this week:
This week, senior Apple managers are beginning to inform employees if they are in the first phase or a later part of the process. During the first phase, employees will either be asked to work from the office regularly or only for certain periods depending on their role, the company has told staff. An Apple spokesperson declined to comment.
Of course, these plans are “fluid and may change” based on new COVID-19 data and local stay-at-home orders.
Select Apple employees have been working from corporate offices since the pandemic began in order to keep operations running. This includes business-critical operations such as data centers and some hardware testing.
It’s likely that the first group of employees returning this month and next will be a small expansion of hardware development, but the report says some projects have already been dialed back:
The first swath of employees returning to offices will likely focus on hardware development. Apple’s labs for future major hardware initiatives, such as planned virtual-reality and augmented-reality headsets, have been dialed back during the work from home period, one of the people said.
As for WWDC this year, Bloomberg says Apple engineers are “filming demonstrations” of the forthcoming software updates from home. WWDC will begin on June 22, Apple announced last week.
Apple has also slowly started reopening its retail stores in the United States and around the world. You can keep up with the latest Apple Store reopenings in our detailed roundup right here.
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